Printed Marketing Materials


Printed marketing materials offer your community group a wide range of promotional possibilities, including:

  • business cards

  • posters

  • leaflets

  • booklets

The effectiveness of using printed materials as a means of publicity will largely depend on the content and the design.

Planning your content

Know your audience


Who the material is for will determine the style of language and the terminology you use.

Grab the reader’s attention

  • the basic rules of design start with grabbing your reader’s attention. A good headline should make the reader want to know more

  • write about the benefits as well as the features. For example, instead of stating  ‘Gala on Saturday’ entice your reader with ‘Join us for a fun filled family day at the Gala on Saturday'

Include the basic essential information

  • write concisely giving the reader the key information who, where, when, what, how. If you are designing a poster for an event – remember to include the date, time and venue

  • include your contact details

What do you want the reader to do next?

  • do not forget the ‘call to action’. Tell the reader what you want them to do and where they can do it

  • give readers a reason to respond, have a competition, coupon, and reply slip, etc. to help evaluate the effectiveness of your printed material

Checking it over

  • get someone who has not been involved in writing the material to proof read it. They are more likely to spot errors if unfamiliar with the text

Designing your marketing materials

Often with design – less is more. If your marketing materials are too busy, your message can get lost and your readers will get confused. 


A simple, clean, organised layout makes your materials look professional and have more impact:


  • use your logo and group’s name to enable the reader to quickly identify where the materials are from

  • use consistent design elements such as fonts, pictures, colours

  • do not cram too much text into the design - use photographs and illustrations to enforce a point, break up the text and make the materials easier to read

Using professional design services

It may be worthwhile employing a designer to give a creative interpretation of your message and build a consistent image for the organisation. Alternatively, a printer can often advise on using different colours, typefaces, paper, or layout.


Shop around for both your designer and your printer and ask other organisations for recommendations. You may also find that your local Third Sector support agency is able to help. Be very clear when giving instructions to printers and designers.


Get cost quotes for everything and keep an eye out for extras, for example, make sure the printer’s quote includes the cost of folding the leaflet, typesetting, stapling, etc. Ask for an explanation of terms that you don't understand. Remember, the more small changes you make, the more it will cost. Take your time and check everything twice.